Book Review: War by Land, Sea, and Air: Dwight Eisenhower and the Concept of Unified Command


by David Jablonsky

New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010. Pp. xiv, 386. Notes, biblio., index. $35.00. ISBN: 0300153899

War by Land, Sea, and Air, a volume in the "Yale Library of Military History", examines the evolution of inter-service command in the armed forces from a vaguely defined notion that army and navy commanders should operate in "cooperation" at the start of the twentieth century through the 1958 defense reorganization act, that brought the services more closely under the authority of the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Jablonsky, a retired colonel in the army and a professor at the Army War College, who has written several works on grand strategy and the world wars (e.g., Churchill, the Great Game, and Total War, etc.) rightly sees Eisenhower as a pivotal player in this development.  Opening with a look at Eisenhower's early military career shaped his views on the subject, Jablonsky then focuses on, given the demands of global conflict, Ike pressed for greater unification not only of the American armed forces but of the entire Allied coalition as well.  This was a major influence upon Eisenhower when, as president, he greater unification of the armed forces, not without considerable resistance. 

A valuable read for those interested in the Allied command during World War II and in the formation of the modern American military establishment.

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

Buy it at



Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close